21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. 24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. 29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.
“Think outside the box.” It’s a phrase that has become so common in business circles that it feels more like a punch line than an inspiration. The idea – of course – is to consider alternative solutions to the problems around us. Rather than sticking with the status quo, we’re to try something new. When Moses gave these instructions to the 600,000 or so Israelites, it must have sounded like thinking outside the box. God – by His grace – has consistently protected His people from all the plagues that obliterated the Egyptians. And now He is going to bring the most powerful sign yet… and rather than merely protecting all of His people, He asks them to do something, to show that they belong to Him. After sacrificing the pure and spotless lamb, after eating the body, they’re called to do something else: using hyssop, they were to spread the blood of the lamb on their doorposts to show Whose they were. We’re told that the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in Egypt – and there was loud wailing in Egypt because every single home felt the sting of death that night. In Christ, God gives us a solution to the problem of sin, the problem of death that awaits us. God Himself provides the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” The hyssop at Christ’s crucifixion reminds us of the blood of the lamb. His Last Supper – given to proclaim His death until He comes again – is a call for us to “take, eat, remember and believe…” And rather than blood on our doorposts, we ourselves are called to be “living sacrifices,” in view of – and evidence of – God’s mercy.
Challenge: How do you show the difference God makes in your life? Pray with thanksgiving that God provided the Lamb for us!